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What We Do

Who needs an Employment Permit?

A non-EEA national, except in the cases listed below, requires an employment permit to work in Ireland. The EEA comprises the Member States of the European Union together with Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.

If you are a non-EEA national working in Ireland, you or your employer may be committing an offence if you do not have an employment permit and you are required by the Employment Permits Acts 2003 to 2014 to do so.

Employment permit holders can only work for the employer, or as the case may be the connected person or contractor, and in the occupation named on the permit. If the holder of an employment permit ceases, for any reason, to be employed by the employer, or as the case may be the connected person or contractor, named on the permit during the period of validity of the permit, the original employment permit and the certified copy held by the employer, or as the case may by, the connected person or contractor, must be returned immediately to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

More about the European Economic Area (EEA)

The following non-EEA nationals do not require an employment permit:

(A) Van der Elst Case The European Court of Justice delivered a judgement on the Van der Elst Case (Freedom to Provide Services) on 9 August, 1994. The Court ruled that in the case of non-EEA workers legally employed in one Member State who are temporarily sent on a contract to another Member State, the employer does not need to apply for employment permits in respect of the non-nationals for the period of contract.

(B) a Non-EEA national who has been granted permission to remain in the State on one of the following grounds:

  • Permission to remain as spouse or a dependant of an Irish/EEA national
  • Permission to remain as the parent of an Irish citizen;
  • Temporary leave to remain in the State on humanitarian grounds, having been in the Asylum process;
  • Explicit permission from the Department of Justice to remain resident and employed in the State;
  • Permission to be in the State as a registered student who is permitted to work 20 hours during term time and 40 hours during holiday periods.
  • Permission to be in the State under the terms of the Diplomatic Relations and Immunities Act 1967, and are assigned to a Mission of a country with whom the Government has entered into a Working Dependents Agreement.
  • Swiss Nationals: In accordance with the terms of the European Communities and Swiss Confederation Act, 2001, which came into operation on 1 June, 2002, this enables the free movement of worker between Switzerland and Ireland, without the need for Employment Permits.

Employment Permits Section